There has been word for the past few days that Research In Motion’s PlayBook has been jailbroken. What this means is that, for the first time ever in RIM’s history, root access has been gained into a BlackBerry operating system. Why is this a big deal? Well, of RIM’s few remaining strengths, one of them was security, both in terms of encrypting and securing the messages you send over the RIM network, and device security. It’s why BlackBerry products became so popular with enterprises and governments — security. That device is so secure, that even the President of the United States uses one. Read on for more. More →
Nokia is again developing a proprietary smartphone operating system after announcing this past February that it would abandon both Symbian and MeeGo in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. Citing multiple anonymous sources, The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported that Nokia’s executive vice president of mobile phones, Mary McDowell, is heading up the project. Code-named “Meltemi,” the new mobile platform is reportedly Linux-based and it is intended for use on low-end smartphones. BGR has independently confirmed the report, and we have learned additional details that paint an exciting new picture of the mobile industry should Nokia’s new OS realize its potential.
Updated with statement from Nokia. More →
Intel announced on Wednesday that it will be shifting its efforts from MeeGo to the new “Tizen” mobile operating system recently announced by The Linux Foundation. The move is in line with reports from early September that suggested Intel would move on due to a lack of consumer enthusiasm surrounding the OS. Nokia launched the MeeGo-powered N9 this month but also announced in June that it was ditching the platform in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS. “We believe the future belongs to HTML5-based applications, outside of a relatively small percentage of apps, and we are firmly convinced that our investment needs to shift toward HTML5,” Intel said in a blog post, explaining why it did not decide to evolve MeeGo. “Shifting to HTML5 doesn’t just mean slapping a web runtime on an existing Linux, even one aimed at mobile, as MeeGo has been.” Intel also noted Tizen will support smartphones, tablets, netbooks, smart TVs and in-vehicle systems. More →
Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha on Tuesday said that his company is open to building smartphones powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. The Motorola boss said that while the company is focused on Google’s Android platform right now, it would absolutely consider the new Microsoft mobile OS under the right conditions. “I think we’re completely open to the notion of Windows as a platform,” Jha said during the Oppenheimer Technology & Communications Conference. “Clearly, all of our focus today is on Android.” Jha said that in order for Windows Phone to work for Motorola, the company would likely need to secure a deal similar to the one between Microsoft and Nokia, which allows the Finnish phone maker to customize and alter the OS in ways other OEMs cannot. The CEO noted that while his company would be willing to evaluate the platform, he’s not certain that Windows Phone will succeed in a world dominated by Android and Apple’s iOS. Jha does not believe Windows Phone, webOS and RIM’s BlackBerry OS will all survive in the long run, though it is not yet known which of the three platforms will thrive and which will fail. More →
Florida-based Operating Systems Solutions has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. OSS is alleging that the Cupertino-based firm’s Mac OS X fast-boot feature infringes on one of its patents relating to a “method for quick booting an OS.” More specifically, the lawsuit says Apple infringes on:
A method for fast booting a computer system, comprising the steps of: A. performing a power on self test (POST) of basic input output system (BIOS) when the system is powered on or reset is requested; B. checking whether a boot configuration information including a system booting state which was created while executing a previous normal booting process exists or not; C. storing the boot configuration information from execution of the POST operation before loading a graphic interface (GUI) program, based on the checking result; and D. loading the graphic user interface (GUI) program.
LG Electronics was originally granted the patent in 2002 and Patently Apple said the patent was then reissued to a company named Promitus Technologies LLC in 2008. It remains unclear how Operating Systems Solutions obtained the patent, or if LG or Promitus Technologies are involved in the lawsuit in any way. More →
Microsoft announced on Monday that it has sold 400 million Windows 7 licenses to date, but that hasn’t stopped the tech giant’s share of the global operating system market from sliding. According to market watcher Net Applications’ data for June 2011, Microsoft’s global operating system market share slid to 88.29% as it continued on its slow but steady decline. The second most popular OS in the world was Apple’s OS X, which was up a nominal amount to 5.37% of the global OS market, followed by iOS with 2.63%, Java ME with 1.12% and Linux with 0.95%. Though Android devices continue to sell rapidly, Net Applications placed the OS in the No. 6 spot in June with 0.72% of the global market. Since January of this year, Apple’s OS X and iOS market shares have risen steadily while Windows continues to slide. According to Net Applications’ revised data, Windows’ OS share dropped below 90% in January of this year for the first time since it climbed above the threshold. It had been reported earlier that the OS slid under 90% last November, but Net Applications has since updated its figures to show that Windows held a 90.81% share in November 2010 and a 90.29% share in December. Two charts showcasing Net Applications’ June data follow below. More →
According to Chang Chi, the deputy head of Taiwan-based Market Intelligence Center, Windows Phone will have a 17% grip on the smartphone market next year. Chi said that Android’s share of the market in 2011 is 38%, followed by Symbian (23%), and iOS (18%). However, he expects Android’s market share to grow 2% next year, iOS to increase to a 19% share, and Windows Phone to skyrocket to a 17% share of the market. Chi also expects that HTC will surpass RIM and become the fourth largest smartphone maker in the world. Research firm IDC recently published a similar report that suggested Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system will be the No. 2 platform by 2015, surpassing both iOS and BlackBerry. More →
On Friday, HP’s brand new webOS-powered TouchPad tablet will make its debut in the United States. Even though HP purchased Palm for $1.2 billion last year so that it could stray away from the Windows-powered tablet market by owning webOS, the company may soon build tablets running Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system. In a recent interview with Fast Company, HP’s president and chief technology officer Phil McKinney suggested that Windows 8 tablets could be in the pipeline. “I’m limited to what I can talk about with Windows 8,” McKinney says. “We’re working very closely with [Microsoft], and I’m going to leave it at that or I’m going to start getting myself into trouble.” We could take McKinney’s statement two ways. First, HP is already a Microsoft partner on Windows 7 powered devices, so to deny Microsoft support for Windows 8 could be a blow to the Redmond-based company. Or second, HP does have a Windows 8 powered tablet in the works, but doesn’t want to start spreading rumors, especially during the launch of the company’s new flagship TouchPad device. We’ll have to wait and see what HP decides to do, but it seems like a confusing move — at least from the customer perspective — for HP to offer both operating systems on its tablet devices. More →
Launching new products is always difficult. Launching new products with hundreds of different carriers is exponentially more difficult. Apparently there is an easy way and a hard way to do things, however, and RIM has been making carriers offers they can’t refuse. BGR has learned from a trusted source that RIM has been strong-arming several carriers, essentially forcing them to approve devices they normally would not move through the Technical Acceptance phase. More →
RIM on Tuesday announced the availability of a new software update for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Before we get into all the details, we should note that this is not the major update PlayBook users have been waiting for that will enable email and PIM functions without the need to tether. Now that we have that out of the way, version 1.0.5 of RIM’s QNX-based operating system brings the following additions to the BlackBerry PlayBook: the Facebook app is now preloaded, in-app payment support has been added, Wi-Fi hotspot detection has been added, the status bar menu has been tweaked a bit and a few new languages are now supported. We’ve applied the update to our PlayBook as so far, everything is going just fine. If you haven’t yet received a notice letting you know that the update is available, you can check for it manually in the device settings. Hit the break for RIM’s full press notice. More →
Nokia could launch its first Windows Phone some time this year, and when it does, the firm plans to set a quick pace to get more phones into the market. Speaking in an interview with PCMag, Nokia’s executive vice president of smartphones, Jo Harlow, discussed Nokia’s roll-out strategy. “We should be launching new devices in a rhythm that might be every couple of months, every three months, something like that,” Harlow said. Unlike HTC and Samsung, which see Windows Phone as a “secondary platform,” Harlow argues, Nokia will use the operating system as a primary platform. “We’re going to keep coming with new devices in order to have something to talk about,” she explained. Earlier reports have suggested that Nokia will launch as many as 12 new Windows Phone handsets next year, including a few with dual-core processors. More →
During a press event in Japan recently, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that Windows 8 would would launch sometime next year. His firm says otherwise. “It appears there was a misstatement,” a Microsoft spokesperson recently said in a statement. “We are eagerly awaiting the next generation of Windows 7 hardware that will be available in the coming fiscal year. To date, we have yet to formally announce any timing or naming for the next version of Windows.” Despite Microsoft’s statement, we could still hear more about Windows 8 much sooner — even if it doesn’t actually launch in the coming fiscal year. “As we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows 8,” Ballmer said in his speech. “Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors.’ According to ZDNet, we could see an early build of the operating system as soon as the D9 conference, which begins on June 31st. More →
According to a report from CIO, BlackBerry users who installed RIM’s latest update for the tablet’s QNX operating system are now experiencing weakened battery life. The recent 1.0.3 software update introduced BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and video chat to the device, but it also appears to have had a substantial impact on battery life, possibly reducing it by 11% or more. RIM addressed the issue by suggesting that users accept the new license agreement for video chat, which may drain the battery if left unchecked, and the company also suggested that users fully charge and discharge the PlayBook battery several times in order to restore full function. Many users report that neither proposed solution has has an impact on the weakened battery life, however. More →